Lawrence John Ripple, 71-year-old man who said he robbed a Kansas City bank so he could get away from his wife, blamed his actions on depression after a judge sentenced him to home confinement.
On Tuesday, June 13, a federal judge sentenced Ripple to six months of home confinement and 50 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay $227.27 to the bank. That money represented the billable hours for bank employees who were sent home on the day of the robbery. He also had to pay $100 to a crime victims fund.
In September of 2016, Ripple went to the Bank of Labor, a bank that sits block from the Kansas City, Kansas, police headquarters, and gave a note to a bank teller saying he had a gun. After Ripple was given the money demanded, he simply waited for police to arrive.
According to court records, Ripple wrote the robbery note he used in front of his wife and told her he would rather be in jail than at home with her.
Though Lawrence John Ripple pleaded guilty to bank robbery in January and could have spent up to 37 months in prison, his attorney and federal prosecutors asked a U.S. District Court judge for leniency. That request was supported by the vice president of the bank and the teller whom Ripple frightened, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania.
Ramsey told a judge Tuesday that before the September incident, Ripple had lived a law-abiding life. He had no criminal record, was a dutiful father to four step-children and was in a stable relationship with his wife.
He suffered from depression after undergoing a quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2015, Ramsey said. The depression remained undiagnosed and manifested as irritability, so Ripple didn’t think to report his symptoms to a doctor.
U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia and U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania said that it was ‘extremely uncommon’ for a person convicted of bank robbery to receive a sentence that doesn’t involve prison time. Furthermore, Catania said this was only the third time she had requested the court to consider other sentencing options in her career.